What is the Difference Between Green Tea and Black Tea

The main difference between green tea and black tea is that black tea is oxidized during production while green tea is not.

Tea is an addictive beverage we all love. It is true that green and black tea varies in colour and taste. These differences are a result of their manufacturing process. During the process of black tea production, manufacturers first roll the tea leaves and then expose the tea leaves to air to enhance the oxidation process. Consequently, the leaves become dark brown, and the flavors get more intense. However, green tea has a relatively light colour and a milder taste than black. This is mainly because manufacturers focus on avoiding oxidation during the processing of green tea. Despite these differences, both varieties provide significant benefits to your health.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Green Tea  
      – Definition, Features, Processing
2. What is Black Tea
     – Definition, Features, Processing
3. Similarities Between Green Tea and Black Tea
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Green Tea and Black Tea
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Black Tea, Green Tea, TeaDifference Between Green Tea and Black Tea  - Comparison Summary

What is Green Tea

Green tea is a common variety of tea produced using the evergreen Camellia sinensis plant. In processing green tea, the manufacturers heat the leaves of green tea just after harvesting them in order to avoid the process of oxidation. In order to do this, they usually pan-fry the tea leaves or steam them. As a result, green tea leaves have a bright green color for a longer shelf period.

Green Tea vs Black Tea

Geographically, green tea plantations can be mainly found in China and Japan. When it comes to brewing, we usually use water with a relatively low temperature to prepare green tea (at or around 175 degrees). Some Japanese green teas, such as Kabusecha and Gyokuro, require a much lower temperature, around 140 degrees.

However, if you use extremely hot water when brewing green tea, you might end up burning or scalding the tea leaves. Consequently, your tea will taste bitter and less appetizing. In comparison to black tea, green tea is steeped for a shorter period of time, usually about 1-2 minutes.

What is Black Tea

Black tea is another variety of tea prepared by the leaves taken from the same plant Camellia sinensis. However, unlike the leaves of green tea, the manufactures completely oxidize the black tea leaves right after harvesting them. The process of oxidation turns the leaves into a dark brown or a black shade, unlike the green tea leaves, which preserve their natural green shade.

Compare Green Tea and Black Tea

Currently, different varieties of black tea are mainly grown in India and China. Some of the world-famous black tea varieties are Assam, Golden Yunnan and Darjeeling. Further, Vietnam and Nepal are the other two large-scale black tea producing  Asian countries in the world.

In contrast to green tea, when brewing black tea, we use boiling water at or around a temperature of 212 degrees. Moreover, we steep black tea for about 3-5 minutes.

Similarities Between Green Tea and Black Tea

  • Both green tea and black tea are produced from the leaves taken from the evergreen plant Camellia sinensis.
  • Therefore, both beverages have similar health benefits
  • Both green tea and black tea are popular beverages all around the world.

Difference Between Green Tea and Black Tea


Black tea is a variety of tea that is oxidized during production, while green tea is a variety of tea that has not undergone the oxidation process used in black tea.


While black tea undergoes oxidation, green tea does not. During the process of black tea production, manufacturers first roll the tea leaves, and then they expose the tea leaves to air to enhance the oxidation process. However, manufacturers of green tea focus on avoiding oxidation.

Colour and Taste

Black tea has a dark brown or black shade, while the taste is more intense. Black teas usually make a reddish copper-coloured brew with a rich flavor. Green teas, on the other hand, is lighter and quite delicate.  They usually extend from a pale golden color to a rich, mossy green. Black teas usually have honey, nutty and spice notes, while the green teas have oceanic or vegetal notes.


The main difference between green tea and black tea is oxidation. Manufacturers avoid oxidizing the tea when processing green tea, but manufacturers usually oxidize the tea leaves used for black tea production for a considerable period of time. This leads the two varieties of teas to come out as two products varying in flavor and colour but with similar health benefits.


1. Gunnars, Kris. “10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Apr. 2020.
2. “About Black Tea: The Fragrant Leaf Tea Albuquerque.” The Fragrant Leaf.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Green-tea-tea-art-tea-ceremony-tea-3528474” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Herbal black tea pouring into glass” (CC0) via Pexels

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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